Kent ranks ninth in Ohio educator statistic

Lyndsey Schley

The Ohio Board of Regents released the 2012 Educator Preparation Performance Report, which aims to gauge how well Ohio colleges prepare future teachers.

91.67 percent of Kent State’s graduates ranked “above expected” or “as expected” in value added scores, the third highest percentage among public universities in Ohio and ninth highest overall in Ohio, according to the report.

“What they try to do is to look at how much progress a student made during a year, so in other words, did the student make at least one year of progress during a year?” said Daniel Mahony, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services. “If it’s above, that meant they made more progress than expected in a year and if it’s below, it meant they did not make one year’s worth of progress in a year.”

Percent of students above or at expected progress

Heidelberg University: 100%

University of Mount Union: 100%

University of Rio Grande: 100%

*Youngstown State: 100%

University of Findlay: 95.83%

Xavier University: 95.65%

Antioch University Midwest: 95.24%

*Ohio State University: 91.76%

* Kent State University: 91.67%

Walsh University: 90.91%

* indicates public university

While he is happy that Kent ranked well, the value-added measure is controversial and does not show the whole picture, Mahony said.

“It’s trying to establish that the teacher is solely responsible for the progress that a student makes in a year,” Mahony said. “As we know, not everything happens in the classroom. So for those who are researchers, it is not a completely controlled experiment where only one thing is impacting that student’s performance.”

The results also tend to vary from year to year, Mahony said.

“It’s really looking at one test on one day, and so, you have a student who all of a sudden has a flu on the day of the test and doesn’t do particularly well and that is reflected in the teacher’s performance [evaluation],” Mahony said. “As any of us who have had teachers know, teachers who are usually really good are consistently very good and teachers who are very poor are usually consistently very poor so we shouldn’t see that kind of variability if it’s a real true measure of who’s a very good teacher and who’s a very poor teacher.”

The report did not release percentages for colleges with less than 10 graduates with value-added scores. These colleges were not included in the rankings in this article.

The report also included a survey to find how satisfied teachers were with their education. Kent ranked above the state average in 46 out of 49 measures of teacher satisfaction, according to the report.

“The student surveys, to me, were almost the more useful information,” Mahony said. “That says our students are overall more satisfied than the norm with our programs and the fact we’re below on three gives us some things we can do better.”

This is Ohio’s first report of its kind, Mahony said. Future reports will add more measures of teacher success.

“I was overall pleased with how they did it and how they laid it out,” Mahony said. “They’re going to add on more and more measures over time so this is kind of just a first attempt. I think as they add more and more things it will get better and give more information, which I think is a good thing overall.”

Contact Lyndsey Schley at [email protected].